For immediate release: February 1, 2023


A group of open source, decentralized, human rights and privacy preserving orgs are calling on their users to stand up for privacy by demanding the 118th Congress to take a principled stand and protect privacy.

Today, Fight for the Future and 50+ open source, free software, decentralized, human rights and privacy preserving projects are launching a new campaign calling on Congress to protect privacy on- and offline. Supporting organizations include Electric Coin Co., MobileCoin, the Filecoin Foundation, Proton, the Tor Project, Tutanota, Protocol Labs, the Free Software Foundation, Blockchain Association, and the DeFi Education Fund.

The campaign follows an open letter released in January that demanded the new US Congress center the human right to privacy when crafting crypto regulations. The letter highlighted the importance of US-built privacy tools—not only for US journalists, protestors, abuse survivors, and traditionally marginalized people, but also for people around the globe with fewer human rights protections. The new Give Us Privacy campaign doubles down, creating a powerful opportunity for users of open source, free, and decentralized technologies to write their representatives about the harmful impact of misguided legislation and highly centralized platforms like Twitter..

The full list of signatories is available on the campaign page:

“Privacy is a fundamental human right. Everyone agrees that we are allowed to whisper and to shut our front door to protect our family from preying eyes.” said Matthias Pfau, founder and CEO of Tutanota. “Privacy online is equal to that and must be defended. Countries like China demonstrate that taking away privacy online is rather easy, but at a very high cost; one that we are not willing to pay in our free and open democracies. That’s why we call for strong protections of privacy. After all, the US is not China.”

“Privacy is a fundamental human right, and the backbone of a free and democratic society,” said General Counsel of Nym Technologies Ahmed Ghappour, who is also an Associate Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law. “In the digital age, this requires a re-imagination of the centralized architectures underpinning big tech, and the freedom to design, and use, technology that protects user privacy and security by default at all levels of the technology stack.”

“The Tor Project’s mission is to advance human rights by creating and deploying free and open source anonymity and privacy technologies. We are co-signing this effort because we believe that everyone must defend privacy, especially the representatives elected by the people.” said Isabela Fernandes, Executive Director of the Tor Project. We hope this influences our incoming lawmakers in the same way that our technology has influenced the industry to invest in privacy features for their users.”

“Electric Coin Co. has wholeheartedly joined this global call for incoming US lawmakers to defend privacy,” said Paul Brigner, Head of U.S. Policy and Strategic Advocacy at Electric Coin Co., the developers of Zcash – a cryptocurrency that employs zero-knowledge proof technology and end-to-end encryption to protect private transactional information and empower economic freedom. “Zcash and the related technologies we build to preserve user privacy are essential for giving individuals around the world an opportunity to have economic freedom.  Protecting the right to privacy and the right to code is crucial for building a more secure and resilient digital future. We urge lawmakers to take a bold stance in favor of pro-privacy policies, including end-to-end encryption, and oppose any attempts to thwart the use or development of privacy-preserving tools. Only by defending the privacy of all individuals can we hope to build a truly democratic and free society.”

“My work, and the work of privacy trainers around the globe, would be impossible without decentralized and open-source software.” said Sean O’Brien, Founder, Privacy Lab at Yale Information Society Project. “It is crucial to protect these tools and guarantee the right to use them – without surveillance, backdoors, and the chilling effect of censorship.”

“By and large, lawmakers understand the threat that surveillance of our everyday movements and our conversations poses to our privacy and democratic process,” said Lia Holland, Campaigns and Communications Director at Fight for the Future, which organized the letter. “It’s a federal crime to open someone else’s mail, and our fourth amendment is supposed to prevent unreasonable search of our papers—but these rights and freedoms have not carried over into our digital lives. Lawmakers have failed to protect our digital privacy for far too long, leaving market solutions as the only practical defense anyone has against unreasonable and constant digital surveillance. The 117th Congress repeatedly undermined the only options we have to maintain our privacy rights by mandating more financial surveillance, chilling the creation of privacy-preserving tools, and questioning the constitutional rights of open source software developers. This long line of cascading legislative failures when it comes to the basic human right to privacy is unconscionable. We look forward to boldly defending digital privacy and those who create it in 2023.”